Atlantic City, New Jersey | Series

Drama, Family

Valerie Mich'El Oliver

1 Campaigns | New Jersey, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $1,219 for pre-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

54 supporters | followers

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It didn't begin in Salem and it hasn't ended. Too often we hear the word “WITCH” and it elicits a variety of negative connotations. Family, friends, the media, films, and TV series all contribute to and reinforce this pejorative view. "Thorn Trees" is different & plans to expand the narrative.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

We're creating this dramatic, adventurous, suspense series to help heal the damage done to our ancestors in the past, reduce the hurt witches experience due to stereotypes in the present, and contribute to minimizing future unrealistic representations that are false, misleading and harmful.

The Story

A new twist on the reason behind the Salem Witch Trials.

It didn't begin in Salem.

A grieving witch recruits a repentant witch-hunter in Elizabethan England to help save her family from a corrupt Bishop intent on murder.

RACHEL GARE’S (Protagonist) Point-of-View About Her Story

"I hoped my family would be safe in the village of Aelbank, though I kept a bag packed in case the militia from my previous village showed up seeking me, Rachel Gare. My husband’s death occurred due to self-defense to escape his beatings. My sister Lizbet and her family fled with me. It was fairly easy as witchcraft-practicing Pagans to live among the Christians who listened to Pastor Joseph in church, and sought my sister Lizbets’ healings—and my visions—behind his arrogant, resentful back. Suddenly, everyone I love is in danger, and as insane as it sounds, I must recruit a witch-hunter who appears filled with remorse to help me." 


CLICK HERE and listen to Progressive Witch, High Priestess & Producer, BERNADETTE MONTANA (event producer/marketing administrator/business owner) share why she supports Thorn Trees. (Duration: 1 min)


Genre: Drama · Period · Suspense · Adventure · Historical · Faith & Spirituality · Female Protagonist 

Status: Pre-Production (Crowdsourcing & Crowdfunding)

Comparables: Vikings (History Channel) | True Detective (HBO) | Good Witch (Hallmark) | Salem (WGN America)

CLICK HERE to view our Opening Scenes Concept Trailer
(Duration: 4min 45sec)
 - Watch using Full Screen!
(Filmed in England and Wales, U.K. pre-COVID)


YOU'RE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE FROM THE BEGINNING IN THIS EARLY STAGE OF PRE-PRODUCTION during the special difficulties and realities affecting our project and the entertainment industry during the COVID pandemic.

According to the woman slated to direct Thorn Trees who is currently filming with producer/director/showrunner Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Station 19): "it’s been a process to even shoot one day...Covid tests, fittings etc."

Since March 2020 our team has been working and meeting remotely and safely (mobile phones & Zoom) from our individual locations during pre-production crowdsourcing & planning crowdfunding: NY, NJ, England, CA, MD, OH, VA and Ireland. Viist the TEAM tab!

This campaign is STEP ONE in our funding strategy:

  • FUND our social media campaign to get the word out and attract more influencers/supporters.

  • FUND creating an LLC business entity for producing Thorn Trees.

  • FUND RACHEL'S GAZETTE, our unique publication for supporting witches stories' and our outreach to influencers/supporters (Our female protagonist is the editor!). Get to know RACHEL before she comes to life in the pilot for our series.

  • FUND subscriptions to Internet Database (IMDb Pro) and other resources required for cast and crew outreach.

  • FUND our Assistant Producers Internship Program for Thorn Trees (We've been supporting interns since they lost their prior paid educational positions due to COVID in March 2020. What we raise beyond our funding requirement will go to them.)

CURRENTLY, THE TRADITION IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY IS TO primarily finance stories about witches if they are defined within the context of horror or fantasy. There are some exceptions to this rule (e.g. Good Witch, Hallmark Channel). But, there are MANY more stories to be told.


One of Three Concept Posters by Artifice Design (U.K.)

WE ARE USING OUR SERIES AS A “GAME CHANGER” concerning deep-rooted negativity, prejudice, ignorance, and often false or limited stereotypical narratives toward spiritual and faith-based paths. Our main story focuses on a witchcraft-practicing, matriarchal Pagan family living in a Christian village in 1590s England, a precursor to the Salem witch trials. 

CLICK HERE and listen to our Consulting Producer, LYNDSY SPENCE (author/screenwriter/historian), as she discusses misconceptions about witches in the U.K. Lyndsy's ancestors: JAQUETTA OF LUXEMBOURG--who is connected to British royalty--was accused of witchcraft, and JOHN GREENWOOD, was a founder of the Puritans. (Duration: 1 min)

Everyone on the Thorn Trees team are in harmony with The Pursuit Studio's (the LLC entity you will fund) vision:

We are passionate about the art and architecture of creativity and storytelling; in particular, exploring diverse, untold stories that are entertaining and engage you in collaborative, powerful and unique ways.

We trust that you are well, and thank you in advance for joining our journey. As impact producers you will help manifest Thorn Trees, expand the narrative about witches, and share our creative mix of fact and fiction concerning what happened in England that led to the Salem Witch Trials.


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Social Media Campaign

Costs $386

Outreach to witches, Wiccans, Pagans to support Thorn Trees as influencers and contributors.

Establish LLC Business Entity

Costs $130

We need to establish a business entity for producing Thorn Trees for legal & financial integrity.

Subscription to Zoom

Costs $200

We need Zoom to conduct and record all our meetings & interviews.

Subscription to Paperli

Costs $156

We need Paperli for publishing "Rachel's Gazette", our primary marketing & communication tool.

Seed & Spark Fee

Costs $82

Seed & Spark charges an 8% fee for this service.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

IMDb Pro

Costs $150

We need a subscription to IMDb Pro to contact agents or managers of potential cast for Thorn Trees.

About This Team

The photos you see above are our Assistant Producer Interns. This project would be dead without them and the work they've done to get us to this point! They have been working unpaid, many who lost their paid internships due to COVID in March 2020, so we want to give them as much visibilty as possible during this campaign and get them paid: Alisha Solaiman (Drexel University), Molly Shilling (Penn State University), Angela White (Regent University) and Rachel Kaufman (Brandeis University).

Also, we've had help in the past from previous interns Jake Samieska (Hamilton College) and Will Ward (Regent University). 



Here we go...







Lili is an award-winning actress slated to direct "Thorn Trees" contingent upon our raising the funding to attach her in our next round. Her most recent work is as the writer/director of a short making the festival route, "One Night Only", and as an actress in the award-winning film CURTIZ.










??? An A-List Actress to Portray Our Lead, Rachel Gare ??? 
Help us in our search for an A-List actress!

Put your suggestions in the UPDATES comments area, and our producing team will review your suggestions.

We will prepare a document with our choices of who to contact using IMDb, and share that document with you here prior to launching our next campaign. Who knows? Perhaps the actress you suggest will be our Rachel!

We believe in SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, so if you, or a contact of yours can introduce us to the actress personally or her agent or manager to get our script into her hands, let us know! 

CREW ATTACHMENTS ARE DEPENDENT ON OUR SUCCESS WITH OUR SECOND CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN ROUND in Spring 2021, so we invite you to continue with us when we move into our next round of fundraising! 

Current Team